County Council planning to officially ask Legislative Delegation to support override of McMaster veto

August 21, 2018 GMT

Aiken County Council plans to officially ask the Aiken County Legislative Delegation for some help during a 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday night at the Aiken County Government Center.

According to a resolution on County Council’s consent agenda, the panel wants the Legislative Delegation to “support and advocate” the override a veto by Gov. Henry McMaster of a Winter Storm Pax-related proviso in the state’s fiscal year 2018-2019 budget that had received legislative approval.

That proviso would have provided additional financial assistance from the state to local governments in counties affected by the devastating ice storm in February 2014.

When County Council finalized Aiken County’s fiscal year 2018-2019 budget in June, it was counting on receiving a further reimbursement of at least $3.5 million from the state for Winter Storm Pax cleanup costs.

The panel included that amount in the county’s budget to balance it.

Aiken County has $3,755,456 remaining in ice storm-related expenses that haven’t been covered by money already received from or approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and the state.

The county’s total cost for cleanup was $33,703,906.

“We believe the Legislative Delegation is going to advocate for and recommend the override of the governor’s veto, but we just want to make sure,” said County Administrator Clay Killian on Monday. “We’re letting them know that we know that he (McMaster) vetoed it (the proviso) and that the money is very important. If the governor’s veto isn’t overridden, we will have to make some major adjustments in our budget. We’ll have to figure out how to close the gap (of $3.5 million).”

After McMaster’s veto of the proviso in July, South Carolina Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, told the Aiken Standard the Legislative Delegation would be “working hard” to override it when lawmakers reconvened to consider that veto and others by McMaster.

Also on the consent agenda for Tuesday’s County Council meeting is a resolution to enter into an agreement with Air Tech Services LLC to replace eight HVAC units at the Aiken County detention center for a cost of $98,500.

Air Tech already has completed two other phases of HVAC system upgrades at the detention center involving 14 other units.

The Government Center is at 1930 University Parkway.

Tuesday’s County Council meeting will be held in Council Chambers on the third floor of the Government Center.